Autumn Epic

Somewhere on the Welsh border!

Somewhere on the Welsh border!

A few months ago I did the Autumn Epic sportive route with a friend of mine. The 95 mile route starts in the town of Knighton which sits on the border between England and Wales. I say did the route, rather than do the actual sportive because this was done in May, and the idea was to do a trial run of the route with a view to doing the actual sportive in September.

The views on the route are just amazing, and it is worth riding it purely for that. Starting in Knighton, you head off towards Rhayader on a northern loop, do a loop around the reservoirs of about 15 miles, and then do a southern loop coming through Presteigne to finish back in Knighton. The first 60 miles were definitely the most enjoyable. The last third, to be honest, was a little tiresome in places due to the poor state of some of the roads and the constant up/down nature of the route, there is literally no flat on the last 30 miles, whereas the first 60 or so does have its fair share of hills but they tend to be longer both up and down. For this reason I decided not to enter the actual sportive. However a couple of weeks ago I returned to Knighton, and started a ride at the ungodly hour of 5.45 am (to avoid the July heat), this time following the northern half of the loop to Rhayader, doing the reservoir loop, and going back the same way I had come, this worked out at around 85 miles and I found it to be a more enjoyable ride than the Autumn Epic route. I wouldn’t want to put anyone off doing the Autumn Epic because it’s definitely worth doing, but I just didn’t feel like repeating it after having done it once. And just in case you’re wondering I didn’t get off my bike up Glascwm Pitch!